Ferdinand von Zeppelin patents his navigable balloon (August 31, 1895) - History Key

Ferdinand von Zeppelin patents his navigable balloon (August 31, 1895)

German Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin created at the beginning of the twentieth century an airship used in WWI as an aircraft. After several attempts, he received the patent for the legendary Zeppelin airship on August 31, 1895. Shortly the name Zeppelin came to be used to all rigid airships.

The Hindenburg: note swastikas on tail fins.
The Hindenburg: note swastikas on tail fins © Image Source: Wikipedia

In this article, you’ll find out why the word Zeppelin is used also in different areas. Besides the famous aircraft carrying his name, in 1968 the legendary British rock band Led Zeppelin also used the name. More recently in 2007 one of the most sophisticated audio devices in the world was named Zeppelin.

Ferdinand von Zeppelin in 1900
Ferdinand von Zeppelin in 1900 © Bild 146-1972-099-15 / CC-BY-SA 3.0 Image Source: Wikipedia

Before the airplanes, the airship invented by Ferdinand von Zeppelin ruled the sky. The Zeppelin was, in fact, a classic hot air balloon, but much safer and more maneuverable with a shape of a giant cigar. The aircraft has been used for military purposes and transportation, but it has been permanently replaced by the airplane. Also, a series of accidents, especially the one in 1937 when the LZ-129 Hindenburg was destroyed in a fire, eliminated completely the aircraft.

The Zeppelin LZ 129 Hindenburg catching fire on May 6, 1937 at Lakehurst Naval Air Station in New Jersey
The Zeppelin LZ 129 Hindenburg catching fire on May 6, 1937 at Lakehurst Naval Air Station in New Jersey © Image Source: Wikipedia

However, today small zeppelins make a sensation up in the sky. Usually, it is used for advertising purposes or recreational flights. Take in mind that if you plan to make a trip with the Zeppelin the costs can even reach up to $1000.

Zeppelin NT
Zeppelin NT © CC BY-SA 3.0 – AngMoKio. Image Source: Wikipedia

The Band

In 1966, Keith Moon, the drummer of The Who along with Jimmy Page and three other musicians recorded a song called “Beck’s Bolero”. Moon didn’t like the song and said: “it’ll go down like a lead zeppelin”. From that moment, the expression was used by all rockers when a rock band was playing really bad. However, two years later Jimmy Page used the expression to name the new rock band: Led Zeppelin. Keep in mind that they wanted to “kick it” and they didn’t say “Lead Zeppelin.”

Led Zeppelin
Led Zeppelin © rollingstone.com

Audio Device

Music should sound perfect. In 2007 a team came up with a name Zeppelin for one of the most sophisticated audio devices at that moment. The audio device is shaped like a cigar which was probably the inspiration for the name.

Zeppelin speaker
Zeppelin speaker  © Image Source: cnet.com

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